Finding an estate planning attorney who can help you create an estate plan that works for your family, is an important first step in creating an estate plan. You’ll want someone you are comfortable with, who is respected by other professionals and will be able to help your loved ones during emotional times. An article from The Balance, “Tips for Finding an Estate Planning Attorney,” offers some useful pointers.
Ask your accountant. Many estate planning attorneys work closely with accountants to address tax issues. Your accountant should know a few estate planning attorneys that they work on a regular basis. They are likely to need to coordinate some issues, so a good working relationship between the two is a plus.
Ask another attorney. If you have retained attorneys in setting up a business, buying a home or reviewing a contract, ask that attorney who they use for estate planning. You should also ask about client referrals. Attorneys in other practice areas recognize that their knowledge about business law or real estate law, does not give them the same training and skill set of an estate planning attorney.
Ask your financial advisor. Many financial advisors consider estate planning a critical part of their client’s overall financial plan. Most have a handful of estate planning attorneys for referral. If your financial advisor has not asked if you have a will, they are missing an important task of their job—looking out for all aspects of your life, not just your investments. Go ahead and ask the financial advisor who prepared their own estate plan.
Contact the local probate court. This isn’t for everyone, especially if you live in a large city. However, in a smaller community, the town clerk knows most of the attorneys and those that are well-liked by judges. Practicing in a small town is different than in a big city. Therefore, attorneys who work well with others, may be more effective in certain matters.
Visit the attorney’s website. You want to make sure they have the right credentials, that they focus in estate planning and that they share your values.
Attend an educational event: Many attorneys offer free educational events to the public. Attending one will give you a feel for the attorney and the law firm.
Maybe the best tip of all: Make an appointment. When you sit down with an estate planning attorney and have a face-to-face conversation, you’ll really know if they are the right fit for you and your family.
Resource: The Balance (July 31, 2018) “Tips for Finding an Estate Planning Attorney”
Get Help from a Wisconsin Probate and Estate Planning Attorney
The estate planning lawyers of Krause Donovan Estate Law Partners, LLC practice law in the areas of Probate, Wills, Estate Planning, and Trusts. We assist clients in and around Madison, Wisconsin with all matters related to estate planning, trusts, and probate matters. Our dedicated attorneys will even make house calls if you are unable to come to our office.
To attend a free estate planning workshop or to receive our client planner to assess your estate planning mindset, contact our office by calling (608) 268-5751 or use our online contact form.